Trying to help her student with hypersensitivity to touch,
Jessica Ralli stumbled upon a fact many parents with kids with
sensory disorders already knew: Dressing is especially
"I went online and Googled clothing for kids with sensory
disorders and was completely shocked and blown away that nothing
really came up ... except a couple of therapeutic companies," says
Ralli, a special education teacher in the New York City public
The Soft difference
What she says she found instead was a world of parents sharing
their frustrations about clothes on blogs and in discussion forums
and swapping tips on ways to modify mass-market clothes.
Over the next year and a half, Ralli, who wanted to combine her
passions for fashion and helping kids with special needs, asked a
lot of questions and listened. Then she met her partner, Chicago
mom Suzy Kogen Friedman, an entrepreneur and advocate for people
with special needs. Friedman was searching for clothes her nephew,
who has autism, would be comfortable in.
Those affordable and fashionable clothes-T-shirts, dresses,
dressier shirts, pants and, soon, jeans-are now finally available,
thanks to their company, Soft, www.softclothing.net. The feedback
from parents trying out the clothes, including those at Chicago
Parent, has been positive.
The clothes, they say, are indeed soft and comfortable.
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